County council apologies over botched repair work to key road routes
PUBLISHED: 09:27 10 May 2019
Essex Highways is apologising to drivers and residents who have been delayed by recent surface dressing work on the A134 and A131.
Essex County Council said it was "urgently investigating what went wrong" with the particular operation, and added that its initial findings suggested in the slightly colder weather the bitumen "binder" coat may have set too quickly to allow the stones to bed in.
Part of the problem may be related to the chippings that were used in these operations, so the county council said it was "undertaking extensive testing before any remedial work is completed".
The A134 runs from Colchester to King's Lynn, in Norfolk, while the A131 runs from Chelmsford to Braintree.
Councillor Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council cabinet member for infrastructure, said: "I'm very sorry about it, we have done hundreds of miles of surface dressing to very good effect, but in these few places just recently on the A131 and A134 it has not worked properly, leaving the "tracks" in the road that drivers have been commenting on.
"I will make sure it is quickly re-done and not at the taxpayer's expense. We will continue to sweep these roads to remove stones as best we can as they work loose.
"I would ask drivers to please stick to the speed limit of 20mph on the signs because if you do so the problems are much reduced."
"On top of these issues, there has also been some problems raised with dust from the surface dressing on Lexden Road, Colchester. We are monitoring the situation and would ask drivers to keep below 20mph and drive cautiously on brand new surface at all times."
Surface dressing is an industry-standard surfacing technique used across the UK for many years.
In the last three full years, Essex County Council has carried out more than eight million square metres or over 600 miles of surface dressing in Essex without any significant issues.